Fleeing suspect causes multiple car crash - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fleeing suspect causes multiple car crash

Billy Wheater Billy Wheater

(WMC-TV) - Investigators say a fleeing suspect crashed into several vehicles as he was pursued by U.S. Marshals Thursday afternoon.

U.S. Marshals were following the man when they say he crashed into vehicles, including Memphis Police Department squad cars, in Whitehaven.

"They set up surveillance, identified the fugitive," said U.S. Marshal Lamont Ruffin.  "Once they saw the fugitive, he took off running."

A U.S. Marshal task force out of Mississippi pursued suspect Billy Wheater through Whitehaven.

The chase finally ended when the fleeing man crashed his vehicle into a field near Lakeview and Craft around 4 p.m.  Wheater was loaded into a stretcher after the crash.

A man who lives near the scene of the crash identified himself as the suspect's brother, Charles Wheater. He said his brother was on the way to his house when the Marshals started chasing him.

"They drug him out and hit him repeatedly in the head with guns and flashlights," said Charles Wheater.  "Told him they were going to kill him, called him all kinds of names."

A U.S. Marshal said that was not true.  He said Billy Wheater hit a car during the pursuit.  It damaged his right front tire so badly he was driving on the rim and that caught the grass on fire in the field.  Marshals were trying to force him out of the care because of the fire.

Marshals said Billy Wheater was accidentally let out of jail in Panola County a month and a half ago on an assault conviction.  He was supposed to be serving 15 years.

Marshals said Billy Wheater assaulted a police officer and they have been trying to find him since he was released.

Billy Wheater does have a criminal record. He was convicted of aggravated assault in DeSoto County and grand larceny in Marshall County.

Enterprise rental said the car Billy Wheater was driving was stolen about a month and a half ago, around the time he was accidentally let out of jail.

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